Ansell’s new ad

Note: this post originally appeared on ‘Douglas to Dancing’, a blog I maintained from 2007-9 on the ACT New Zealand political party. The blog was an extension of the thesis I wrote about the Act Party in 2007, From Douglas to Dancing: explaining the lack of success of ACT New Zealand and evaluating its future prospects (PDF).

I’ve been alerted to the return of John Ansell to ACT’s campaign, with a new ad promoting strategic voting and favouring ACT over National. To be honest I’m a little surprised that Ansell is behind the advertisement, which is classic ACT: far too many words per square centimetre. However, the overall thrust of the advertisement is sound and the slogan “Strengthen the Nats. Party vote ACT” is something the party has long needed.

The only question is why ACT did not switch to strategic campaigning months ago, when it found its efforts to convince voters to vote ACT based on the small party’s policy alone futile. With a crisp and consistent message, I think strategic voting by people not necessarily enamoured with ACT policy could have brought ACT up to the 5% mark. Ansell’s work could be too little, too late.

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